Mirad, formerly known as Unilingua, is an artificially-constructed auxiliary language (conlang) developed and published in 1966 by the now-deceased Paris-based author Noubar Agopoff as a serious medium for easy and logical international communication. Mirad, which means world speech, and is pronounced mee-RAHD, is categorized by constructed language experts as taxonomic or ontological, because its vocabulary is mapped letter-by-letter to a semantic ontology or thesaurus. Also, the word-stock of Mirad is considered a priori, meaning that there is no deliberate association with words or roots in existing natural languages. The vocabulary is from scratch, yet based on internal lexical and semantic rules that help the learner to construct and deconstruct derivations sytematically, logically, mnemonically, and consistently. The author claims in his book Unilingua -- Langue universelle auxiliaire that this language is well-suited for universal, logical communication because it is based on principles already exploited globally by sciences like mathematics and chemistry, where symbolic formulas are constructed in accordance with strict rules and a limited sequence of symbols understood by all practitioners.
Principles[edit | edit source]
Mirad is constructed on the following principles:
- Every vowel has numeric, vectorial, scalar, semantic, or grammatical value.
- Every consonant is meaningful either lexically or grammatically.
- Word derivation is systematic, consistent, analogical, and mnemonic.
- Words are as ontologically unambiguous as possible.
- Words are as short and as easy to pronounce as possible.
- Inflection and derivation of words is regular and predictable.
- Word opposites differ only in the stem vowel (iva....happy; uva....sad).
- Words that have similar meanings will share all but one or two letters (iva....happy; ivra ....joyful).
- All words in the language are constructed from fewer than 500 building blocks.
- Vocabulary in specialized and scientific fields is built on internationally agreed conventions.
- The grammatical rules are regular and as simple as possible.
- The vocabulary is totally a priori and neutral and not based on any existing language.
- Formatives (derivational and inflexional prefixes, infixes, and suffixes) are nonexponential, that is, each one has only one purpose or meaning. In other words, the language is non-fusional.
Changes from earlier version[edit | edit source]
- This book contains a revision of the language with additions and modifications to the original. The principal changes are:
- The writing system now consists only of letters of the Latin alphabet, with no diacritics.
- The letter w was added to mark the passive voice of verbs, among other things.
- The letter s was changed to sound like the s in English sun.
- The letter x was changed to sound like the sh in English show.
- The letter c was changed to sound like the ch in English chair.
- The letter h was added, mainly to create a systematic set of correlative determiners like this, that, and every.
- The letter q was added for certain scientific words and outside-imported words such as daiqiri or Qatar.
- Grammatical cases were eliminated and replaced by prepositions.
- Some prepositions and conjunctions were changed or added.
- The definite article ha (the) was introduced.
- Much new vocabulary was added and some words were altered.
- The system of correlatives determiners was overhauled.
- The manner of encoding names of chemicals, metrical units, and other entities was changed.
- The language was gender-neutralized but provided the means to mark gender where necessary.
Conventions in this book[edit | edit source]
- In this book:
- Words in Mirad are boldfaced.
- Words in English that are translations of Mirad are italicized.
- Technical grammatical terms in English are both boldfaced and italicized.
- For example:
- The Mirad word van means that and is a positive subordinating conjunction.
[edit | edit source]
- Earlier version of Mirad (Unilingua)
- Agopoff, author of Unilingua
- Wikipedia: Constructed_Language
- Mirad Thesaurus (a wikibook)
- Mirad Lexicon (a wikibook)
References[edit | edit source]